The Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) was created on January 3, 1945, succeeding the Special Committee on Un-American Activities (known as the Dies Committee) which had existed since 1938. Under House Resolution 5, 79th Congress, the standing committee was authorized to make from time to time investigations of (1) the extent, character, and objects of un-American activities in the United States, (2) the diffusion within the United States of subversive and un-American propaganda that is instigated from foreign countries or of a domestic origin and attacks the principle of the form of government as guaranteed by our Constitution, and (3) all other questions in relation thereto that would aid Congress in any necessary remedial legislation.
During its 37-year history the committee conducted a continuous program of investigation covering a wide range of activities, organizations, and individuals (such as Alger Hiss) suspected of subversive activities. It held extensive hearings, most of which were printed, and published a detailed index to the publications of the committee. In February 1969 the name of the committee was changed to the Committee on Internal Security. In 1975 the committee was abolished and its jurisdiction, files, and staff transferred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Subpoena for Alger Hiss to Appear before the Committee, 8/17/1948, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives (ARC 595268)